Cascadia Capital and First Beverage Group are pleased to announce that they have completed a strategic merger whereby First Beverage Financial, the leading beverage industry investment bank, will join the Cascadia Capital Consumer & Retail team. Bill Anderson, First Beverage’s Founder and CEO, plans to join Cascadia’s Board of Directors. See below to learn more about the new Cascadia team members and their deep industry expertise.
First Beverage Founder & CEO
Bill plans to join Cascadia Capital’s Board of Directors following the closing of the transaction. Bill’s love for the beverage industry led him in 2005 to found First Beverage Group, a financial services firm which advises and invests in innovative and transformational beverage brands. Prior to founding First Beverage, he was Executive Vice President of Topa Equities, Ltd., a diversified holding company and Top 15 beer distributor group based in Los Angeles. He is also the former President of Topa Properties, Ltd. Prior to joining Topa, he was an attorney with O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and a legislative assistant to US Senator George J. Mitchell (D-Maine). Bill sits on the Boards of Directors of Topa Equities, Ltd., Acacia Research (Nasdaq: ACTG), Health-Ade Kombucha, GEM&BOLT Mezcal, and Purity Organic. He is a former Board member of the New Belgium Brewing Company. He is also the former Chairman of the Board of the Weingart Center, one of the nation’s largest facilities for the homeless and now sits on the Board of Experience Camps, a national nonprofit organization that provides free, one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Bill has long been an active angel investor in consumer brands, especially in the beverage business, including WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, WTRMLN WTR, and Blue Bottle Coffee. He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.
Nicole Nugent Fry
Nicole will join Cascadia Capital’s Los Angeles office. She has over 15 years of investment banking and corporate development experience and has an extensive background providing financial advisory services to middle market companies, including mergers and acquisition transactions, debt and equity capital raising, valuations and restructurings. Nicole focuses on both branded beverage and restaurant sectors. She was previously a Managing Director in the consumer investment banking group at Imperial Capital, where she led Imperial’s efforts in the beverage, food and restaurant sectors. Prior to Imperial Capital, Nicole worked in the investment banking divisions of Bank of America, Bear, Stearns & Co. and Citigroup. Nicole received her B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. from UCLA, where she competed in cross-country and track and field. She also holds a graduate diploma in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Townsend will join Cascadia Capital’s New York office. He has spent over 25 years in investment banking and private equity at First Beverage Group, The First Boston Corporation, Wasserstein Perella & Co., and Wasserstein & Co. He has completed over $40 billion in mergers and acquisitions advisory assignments, and as a principal investor in over 30 private equity investments ranging from leveraged buyouts and growth equity, to venture capital. In this capacity, he served on numerous private and public company boards of directors. Townsend brings with him deep experience in the craft beer sector. He received his B.A. in Economics from Trinity College in and his M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Stephen will join Cascadia Capital’s Los Angeles office. His efforts are focused on mergers and acquisitions in the craft beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverage sectors. Stephen previously worked in the Restructuring and Valuation groups within PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Transaction Services group where he was a generalist participating in various aspects of M&A transactions. He holds a B.A. in Business with concentrations in Accounting and Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Notable Prior Transactions
The First Beverage team has completed over 25 beverage deals in the past four years, including 18 transactions in the craft beer industry. Recent deals of note:
About the Transaction
“This partnership is an exciting next chapter for both firms. The combination unites two highly-successful and specialized investment banking practices, accelerating our shared strategic growth initiatives and enhancing our coverage of the consumer landscape. Most importantly, adding a team of First Beverage’s caliber and industry focus will broaden and complement the exceptional service we deliver to the entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses we advise.”
– Michael Butler, CEO of Cascadia Capital
“We selected Cascadia Capital because of its unwavering focus on client service, its successful track record, the deep industry expertise of the Cascadia banking team and the firm’s strong culture of integrity and respect. This partnership provides the ability to deepen the level of service offered to our existing client base and enables us to continue our purposeful expansion into additional beverage industry segments.”
– Bill Anderson, Founder and CEO of First Beverage Group.